Lowry and balanced Raptors rout Jazz

Panic time? No? Welcome to basketball purgatory home of the Suns

Panic time? No? Welcome to basketball purgatory home of the Suns

The Raptors push their lead to as many as 31 points in the first half, but the Lakers fight back in the second half.

"You always just stay even-keel when you come in for games", James said.

Once their starters had seized command, the Raptors worked some of their reserve players into the contest. If Leonard sits out Sunday he will miss his one and only game against the Lakers at Staples Center - a team he was rumoured to be interested in joining in the off-season.

Jazz forward Joe Ingles splits the defence of Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, and Danny Green during first-half action in Utah on Monday night.

It's impressive. The Suns and Booker really want him to be an All-Star guard this season, and if he were in the East I'd say "done deal", but in the West - Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell - it's tough to crack the club.

Alec Burks led the Jazz (4-6) with 22 points off the bench, while Rudy Gobert (14 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block) and Derrick Favors (11 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks) each finished with a double-double. "The only thing that matters to me is what goes on inside this locker room, both home and away". James was held to just 18 points, his lowest point total in nine games since joining the Lakers. The Jazz also lost a player during the game: Joe Ingles dislocated a finger in the fourth quarter. If there was a mercy rule in basketball the Lakers would have exercised it in the first.

"It's going to be very, very hard to make a game out of that when you're trying to expend so much energy trying to get back in it".

In New York, D'Angelo Russell scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half, and the Brooklyn Nets kept the Philadelphia 76ers winless on the road with a 122-97 win.

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